Kelkoo and the hListing microformat

November 12, 2007

Remember what microformats are? In short, an easy way to build a semantic web with the current HTML / CSS standards. The hListing microformat – still a proposal at this point – is a very useful one for the shopping ecosystem. As explained on

Individuals and professionals are increasingly publishing their offerings online: whether as items for sale or rent (cars, homes, apartments), services for hire (music lessons, dog walker, plumber), openings (jobs, volunteers, extra spot in a book club) or personals (people looking for dates, companions, roommates). The goal of publishing (and promoting) these listings online is to seek out interested parties, often within a limited time period. While descriptions of products and services are common on the Web, particularly on e-commerce sites, we are proposing an hListing microformat for sharing, searching, and syndicating the information that helps match up buyers and sellers. This proposal follows the common practices of trading sites such as Craigslist, eBay and newspaper classifieds.

Kelkoo with its new site introduced the support of hListing microformat to represent offers from merchants. This is part of a broader initiative at Yahoo! to support the structured web and microformats (previously introduced in Yahoo Tech, Yahoo Local, Flickr…).

The support of hListing can be considered as a geeky feature, as the adoption of this microformat is pretty slow and doesn’t bring a lot of benefits (yet). But I believe we have to show the path: broader adoption of hListing among merchants and comparison engines could mean easier ways to discover and manage offers. Imagine:

[...] Je ne pouvais pas faire l’impasse sur ce sujet. 2008 sera-t-il l’année du web sémantique ? Non pas réellement dans la mesure où la sémantique a toujours fait partie du web (plus ou moins). Par contre 2008 verra sans doute l’arrivée à maturation de langages sémantiques qui trouveront des domaines d’application bien précis comme APML pour les réseaux sociaux (cf. Should Facebook Implement APML?), XBRL pour les documents de reporting financier (cf. Microsoft Advances XBRL Data Standard in the US) ou encore hListing pour le commerce en ligne (cf. Kelkoo and the hListing microformat). [...]